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All Posts in Category: Wellness

Vitamin D

How To Get Vitamin D Without Putting Yourself At Risk From Too Much Sun

In today’s fast-paced world, where individuals are constantly on the go, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more important than ever. As we strive to optimize our wellness, one essential nutrient that often comes to mind is vitamin D. Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D plays a vital role in bone health, immune function, and overall well-being. While sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, prolonged exposure to the sun can pose risks such as sunburn and skin cancer.

Importance of Vitamin D in your body:

Bone Health:

Vitamin D plays a fundamental role in maintaining healthy bones. It aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the digestive system, which are necessary for strong bones and teeth. immune function, and overall well-being.

Immune Function:

Vitamin D is closely linked to immune system function. It helps regulate the immune response, enhances the function of immune cells, and reduces the risk of autoimmune disorders.

Muscle Function:

Vitamin D plays a role in muscle function and strength. It helps with muscle contraction and coordination, making it essential for optimal physical performance.

Overall Well-being:

Beyond its specific roles, vitamin D is essential for overall well-being. It supports the proper functioning of various body systems, including the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems. Sufficient vitamin D levels contribute to energy production, improved cognitive function, and a healthy metabolism.

In this blog post, we will explore alternative ways to obtain vitamin D without putting ourselves at risk from too much sun.

Incorporate Vitamin D-rich Foods into Your Diet:

One way to obtain vitamin D without relying solely on sunlight is by including vitamin D-rich foods in your diet. Some natural sources of this essential nutrient include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, as well as fortified dairy products such as orange juice, and cereals. Consuming these foods regularly can help ensure an adequate intake of vitamin D, reducing the need for excessive sun exposure.

Explore Vitamin D Supplements:

Vitamin D supplements can be an effective way to maintain optimal levels of this nutrient, particularly for individuals who have limited sun exposure or live in regions with minimal sunlight. At Avant Pharmacy and Wellness, we carry various forms of vitamin D, including drops, capsules, or gummies. Many of our vitamin D supplements also include additional ingredients that help with better absorption, such as vitamin K. Talk with one of our pharmacists to learn which options would be best for you and what dosage to take.

Maximize Sun Exposure Smartly:

While we aim to reduce sun exposure to minimize the risk of sun damage, it’s essential to note that spending a limited amount of time in the sun can still be beneficial. Exposing your skin to sunlight for about 10-15 minutes a day, preferably during the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less intense, can help your body produce vitamin D naturally. Remember to protect your skin with appropriate clothing, hats, and sunscreen to minimize any potential harm.

Conclusion:

Maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D is crucial for overall health and well-being. While sunlight remains an excellent source of this essential nutrient, it’s essential to balance sun exposure to prevent potential risks. By incorporating vitamin D-rich foods, exploring supplements, and being mindful of smart sun exposure, you can ensure your body receives the vitamin D it needs without putting yourself at risk from too much sun. Visit Avant Pharmacy and Wellness, your local pharmacy in Charlotte, NC, to find a wide range of wellness products and guidance on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance to support your well-being while staying safe and protected.

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Starting Fresh

Excess toxins could be impacting your weight loss potential and your overall health!! Start with a clean slate and watch the results. 

The Avant 7-Day Kick Start Detox and Program will help to improve your energy and metabolism in just 7 days! The 7 Day Kick Start is a detoxification program that detoxes your body, helps you lose weight, increases lean muscle mass, and improves performance! In a nutshell, that’s why detox is important.

Before you say that this program isn’t for you, check this out.

Detoxification isn’t just for health nuts or athletes. Right now, your body is filled with toxins that it has picked up just from you being alive, breathing, and existing on this earth. If you’re not doing something to support your liver and other body systems, then you’ve likely built up more toxins than you can imagine and may not be feeling like your best self.

What Could Lead to Body Toxicity?

The answers to this are probably more common than you think.

  • Have you ever had a course of antibiotics or taken prescription medications?
  • Maybe you live near a major urban area or near a busy highway?
  • Do you eat out frequently or eat pre-packaged foods?
  • Do you experience discomfort after eating certain foods?
  • Are you overweight, underweight, or do you have cellulite?
  • Do you have less than two bowel movements a day?
  • Do you use standard household cleaning products in your home?
  • Do you use non-organic cosmetics, body washes, or perfumes? 

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then you’ve been exposed to toxins.

Guess what? You’ve probably heard about toxins in the environment, but did you know that you don’t even have to leave your home to be exposed to toxins? Your daily morning routine can expose you to over 100 different chemical compounds!

So you might be wondering how toxic you are and why detox is important – and why we’re recommending the 7-Day Kick Start Program.

As of June 2022, there are nearly 775 toxic chemicals that have been identified as cancer causing, a cause of significant human health effects, and/or cause significant environmental effects. Many of these toxic chemicals still remain in many of the foods, medicines, and products that we use today!

In an ideal situation, your immune system, liver, and kidneys would work together to remove toxins at the same rate at which they encountered them. However, with the incredible increase in the number of toxins you’re exposed to, your body may not be able to keep up. When that happens, you experience increased toxic burden.

Increased toxic burden isn’t usually evident at first, but it eventually affects all of your body’s systems. Symptoms of increased toxic burden can include:

  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • joint pain
  • brain-fog
  • digestive problems
  • hot flashes
  • allergic reactions
  • sneezing
  • coughing

Is that enough to show why detox is important?!

How to Kick Those Toxins Out of Your Body!

In order to detox, many people turn to organic foods, drink filtered water, and eliminate problem foods to help reduce their toxin exposure. The only problem with this approach is that there are still toxins stored in your body.

Other people use losing weight as their detox strategy. This seems like it would make sense. When it comes to toxins, fat is your protector. It gobbles up and stores toxins to protect your body. Unfortunately, this can cause weight gain. So, it would make sense that if you lose the weight, then you will lose the toxins.

However, the truth is somewhat different! When you lose that weight through dieting and exercise, guess what happens? The toxins are released into your system, increasing toxic burden. But the bad news doesn’t stop there. This will actually cause a rebound weight effect because your body will try to protect itself by making more fat!

Let’s Talk Detox Importance

A quick online search reveals people often ask “why detox is important.” It seems like detoxification is a term that most people hear, but not many people understand.

Detoxification is the process in which the body eliminates harmful toxins. This is primarily done via your liver, which acts as your body’s natural filter. Did you know your liver performs over 500 functions, weighs more than three pounds, is the size of a football, and is the second-largest organ in the body (after the skin)?

Anything that’s consumed, whether it’s food, alcohol, medicine, or toxins, gets filtered by your liver. Your liver packages nutrients for use while detoxifying hundreds of chemicals in two distinct phases – phase I and phase II. Toxins are fat-soluble and naturally stored in fat cells in your body. The more toxic you are, the more stubborn fat your body hangs onto in order to store the toxins. To eliminate toxins from your body, therefore, your liver converts toxins into water-soluble compounds so you can eliminate them via urine, stool, and sweat.

The liver does a great job of filtering toxins on a daily basis, but periodically we need to give it some dedicated care. Essentially, we need to “change the filter” in our body to optimize its function for the rest of the year. If the liver is not functioning well, every other system in the body, including the heart, brain, kidneys, and skin, is compromised. Giving your liver the support it needs will help you feel your best and maintain long-term health. That’s why detoxing is so important.

Bring on the 7-Day Kick Start!

 

The True Detox Approach with our 7-Day Kick Start

If you want to have a clean, non-toxic body, then you will need to 1) detox and 2) maintain this state of affairs.

True detoxification removes toxins from your body, releases excess fat, and creates lean muscle.

In addition, true detoxification is a multi-phase process that requires certain nutrients, amino acids, and other helpers to rid your body of toxins.

Our 7-Day Kick Start Program is an evidence-based program that provides three active formulas – Core Support, Alpha Base, and PhytoCore. These formulas work together to support your liver in the detoxification process. The targeted nutrients in each formula enhance the detoxification of environmental pollutants, hormone disruptors, and other harmful toxins. That’s why detox with Core Restore is so important and effective.

But don’t forget, you’re being exposed to toxins daily. So in addition, it’s necessary that you eat a clean, balanced diet to keep your body naturally lean and reduce the toxic burden. You should also repeat detoxification at intervals to prevent toxin build-up. You change the oil in your car to maintain performance, right? So consider detoxing to be like regular maintenance your body needs to perform at its best.

 

Are you ready to restore your body to optimum health?

Join us for our group, virtual class courses that will begin on 12/8/2022! We will be offering monthly small classes that will include your personal 7-day detox kit that will be shipped directly to your home before the start of your first official class date. Throughout this virtual class, you will be participating with other individuals with the same goals in mind but with a personalized feel. You will have exclusive access to our private Avant Wellness app and Facebook Group. Missed a class? No worries, all of our classes are recorded, and you will still have access to our group and instructor support options. 

 

Avant Pharmacy and Wellness is passionate about helping others achieve their best health and wellness, so we hope you join us on December 8th! Let’s stay healthy together. 

Interested? Email us at wellness@avantpharmacy.com or add your email address here Subscribe Here.

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Apple weight loss

When Losing Weight, The Healthy Way is the Best Way

Almost 108 million Americans were overweight or obese in 1999. Now, obesity continues to be a serious problem and has reached epidemic levels since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. 

Here are some diseases that increase in risk in those who are overweight or obese:  

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Stroke 
  3. Diabetes
  4. Cancer
  5. Arthritis
  6. Hypertension

Losing weight helps to prevent and control these diseases, but that’s often easier said than done. 

The quick weight loss methods which have spread like fire these days do not provide lasting results. More often than not, dieting methods which involve dietary drinks, packaged and processed “diet” foods and “diet” pills do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary. 

It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option which will provide lifetime results. You have to set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.  

Tips on how you can lose weight the healthy way:

  1. Do not starve yourself. 

The key to a healthier way of losing weight is: Do not diet. 

You may seem happy and feel that you are losing those unwanted flabs on your belly and thighs by skipping meals. But remember that this would not last long. Your body cannot tolerate having insufficient food to fuel the energy that you use up everyday. 

If you get used to skipping one or two meals a day, your stored calories will be used up instead of the energy that should have been provided by your meals. So if you just eat one huge sandwich in one day, it will end up straight to your problem area (i.e. highs, buttocks, hips). 

  1. Start your day right. 

Mothers always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have a healthy meal in the morning to jump-start your metabolism. 

Your food intake after you wake up will be used to burn fat all day long.

  1. Eat small, healthy meals frequently. 

Five  small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent overeating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster. 

  1. Decide on how much weight you want to lose. 

Keep your goals realistic. In the long run, it is virtually impossible for you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. Have a mindset that you want to eat healthy to stay healthy for the rest of your life. 

Once you have decided on a weight loss plan or program, stick to it and make sure that you follow your own set of dieting rules.  

  1. Drink lots of water. 

Your body needs sufficient water  to burn fat and keep your cells hydrated and healthy. 

  1. Avoid too much sugar. 

Plan your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables and lean  meat and protein rich-foods. Limit or temporarily avoid high carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta, and rice. Sweets, sodas and pastries should be once-in-a-while indulgences only.

  1. Watch your fat intake. 

Fat is not the culprit to being overweight. You need this to keep your weight at the proper level. 

There is such a thing as healthy fats. Tuna, salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fats which are good for the heart. Also, cook mainly with olive oil or olive oil sprays and limit using butter and vegetable oils. 

  1. Exercise. 

Leave your car if  you are only going a few blocks from home, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog, cycle or  skate. Use these activities and other home chores if you are not up to going to the gym or taking exercise classes. Make sure that you do this regularly and you will not even notice that you are already shedding pounds with these mundane activities. 

Be realistic!

It does not matter how much weight you plan or need to lose. What is important is that you set realistic goals for yourself and get moving.  

Go slow. If you have already lost 5 or 6 pounds, give yourself a break from focusing on weight alone then try to lose the next 5 pounds. 

Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result in a new, healthier you.

Need a little accountability with a focused 12-week plan?  Check out our wellness and weight loss programs that can get you to your goals and have you feeling and looking great in no time.

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water

Hydration: Why It Matters and How to Maintain Healthy Levels

Summer is right around the corner, and in most locations in North America, it may feel like we have already hit those hot and humid temperatures. With the hotter temperatures rising, hydration is likely on the forefront of your mind, and if not, it should be.

Am I dehydrated?

First, how do you know if you are dehydrated?  You may be dehydrated if two or more of the following markers are present:

  • Dark color urine
  • Urinating less than 4 times a day
  • Leg cramps 
  • Feeling thirsty 
  • Dry mouth and/ lips
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded 

How much fluids do I need?

Adequate hydration is extremely crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, memory, and mood. Ideally, most people should drink 6 to 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day or ½ their body weight (pounds) in ounces a day. For instance, a healthy person who weighs 120 pounds would likely benefit from drinking about 60 ounces of fluids a day. That’s a reasonable goal. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. For individuals with certain chronic conditions, fewer than 6-8, 8-ounce glasses of water may be necessary. This can be determined by discussing your individual recommended intake with your health care provider and pharmacist. 

What types of fluids are best to stay hydrated? 

Ideally, water is recommended, but there are some other fluids that can quench your thirst and prove to be beneficial to your health. 

  • Herbal Tea– Herbal teas are a great option to increase your fluid intake while also providing your body with additional medicinal uses. Try our teas we carry at Avant Pharmacy & Wellness or pick up a box of tea bags on your next grocery run.  
  • Fresh fruit and fresh squeezed fruit juices– Melons, strawberries, peaches, and pineapples are packed with water and a great way to refresh. Also, fresh squeeze juices are a great alternative to purchasing sugary fruit juices that are premade. Added and artificial sugars can lead to more dehydration.
  • Infused water- Not a fan of plain water? Try infusing your water with fresh fruit and herbs. Try strawberry and mint, lime and basil, or lemon and lime infusions for some tasty, no sugar, drinks that will definitely have you feeling refreshed and recharged throughout the day. 
  • Pre or post training recovery drinks- Low sugar recovery mixes and drinks are a great way to quickly feel hydrated after exercise, excessive sweating, or long sun exposure. Avant Pharmacy and Wellness carries some great options including Liquid I.V.®, Biolyte®, Evolve Energy powder, or LMNT Hydration. All of these options can be found on our website or in our store. 
  • Intravenous (IV) Hydration- During times of excessive or frequent dehydration, intravenous (IV) hydration can be a safe and fast way to provide your body with the nutrition it needs. IV Hydration can provide your body with additional benefits beyond hydration including improved wellness, decrease recovery time, improve and boost immunity, and improve energy levels. Keep a look out for our IV hydration services coming soon!

Limit or avoid highly caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soda. Stay away from sugary drinks by checking the carbohydrate and sugar contents on the label. Be careful… many “no sugar” or “low sugar” drinks contain artificial sweeteners that may worsen dehydration and cause a host of other problems down the road. 

Check out our online shop or come by our Monroe Rd. location and we can help answer any questions you may have and help you pick out the right products for you. 

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D: One of the Most Underrated Vitamins

There are many different vitamins and supplements that our bodies use everyday. The body needs vitamins in order to properly function, help in boost your immune system, promote health, and even provide our body with energy it needs. One vitamin in particular is often overlooked: Vitamin D. Vitamin D, also known as calciferol, is what’s considered a fat-soluble vitamin (meaning that it is dissolved by fat and then stored in the body). There are two types of vitamin D, 2 and 3. Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, comes from plant sources. Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, comes from animal sources. 

 

Effect on Your Body

We may have all heard that calcium is needed for healthy bones, but without vitamin D, our body isn’t able to properly absorb calcium like it should. It also aids in absorption of other minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps our body by: 

  • Reducing cancer cell growth 
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Aiding in our immune system function 
  • Enhances the secretion and action of insulin
  • Improving overall mood 
  • Improve energy 

 

How Much Do I Need?

For both men and women, the recommended daily intake is 600 IU. For older adults (70 years and up), the recommended daily intake is 800 IU. To ensure you are getting the adequate amount of vitamin D, a lab test (bloodwork) may be ordered. Many lab ranges will suggest that vitamin D levels greater than 30 ng/mL are sufficient, but for best overall function and health, optimal levels are recommended to be in the blood range from 50-80 ng/mL. Before taking vitamin D supplements over the recommended daily amount, lab test can better help your pharmacist determine what’s best for you individually. Too little vitamin D, or vitamin D deficiency, can potentially lead to osteoporosis or bone fractures, poor immune health, fatigue, and even mood disorders. Studies show that approximately 42% of Americans are considered to be vitamin D deficient. This deficiency can come from shying away from sunlight at optimal times, not having enough skin exposed (with sunscreen) to absorb sun’s nutrients, or even strict diets that eliminate vitamin D sources altogether. This can be avoided by maintaining a healthy diet, taking supplements with vitamin D, and having adequate sun exposure (20-30 minutes, everyday). Vitamin D can be incorporated into our diets with: 

  • Fatty fish, like salmon or tuna
  • Liver
  • Mushrooms 
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk 
  • Fortified cereals (limit or avoid cereals with too many sugars)

Reading food labels can help in ensuring that you are receiving the right amounts of vitamin D with each serving. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it can be more challenging to incorporate vitamin D into your diet, therefore, you may need to add supplemental vitamin D drops to your foods or drinks. Milk replacements, such as almond milk, can be a healthy alternative to ensure vitamin D consumption. Before beginning a vitamin D supplement, be sure to consult with one of our pharmacists, to ensure you are taking the right dose. At Avant Pharmacy & Wellness we offer lab work without the hassle of scheduling an office visit. Come speak with our wellness staff and we can get you set up!

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Welcome to our Wellness Blog!

Welcome and thank you for your interest in our blog! This blog is used to share valuable wellness and health information. We hope you find these posts beneficial to maintaining and/or restoring your health.

Background

Wellness has not always been a part of our pharmacy name, but it has always been a passion of ours. Our name recently changed from Rx Clinic Pharmacy to Avant Pharmacy & Wellness in 2021, and we are excited to have our official name support our forever goals. Our pharmacists, technicians, and staff seek wellness for our patients everyday by recommending additional supplements and support to current medications when needed, contacting our patients monthly for updated medication list and refills, stocking our pharmacy with quality, safe, and effective supplements, and providing our patients with wellness tips. In addition, our Wellness Department offers wellness and weight loss programs that meet our patients where they are individually. We know that our health goals may not all be the same, and our pharmacists know that. 

Health and Wellness

I am Desiree Gaines, Pharmacist, and Health and Wellness Director at Avant Pharmacy. I struggled coping with my weight after having 3 girls, dealing with stress and… let’s face it… COVID did a number on many of us!  I tried programs in the past that were the typical “eat less, move more” or required taking medications that often made my blood pressure worsen. It was time for a change, but I needed a program that was right for me and only me. I began completing training in functional medicine, as I had heard many great things about taking a functional medicine approach to health. Through my training, I quickly understood what this meant. Functional medicine is a personalized approach to healthcare that involves understanding the prevention, management, and root cause of complex chronic diseases (i.e. diabetes, heart conditions, depression, etc). Functional medicine does not reject current conventional medicine, but instead enhances and adds to current prevention and management methods to fully understand the causes of chronic conditions. Ultimately, by understanding the cause, you have a great chance of reducing or even alleviating the damage caused by chronic conditions. 

Currently, we have several programs available for those looking to lose weight, get healthier, or improve their current medical conditions. Check out our wellness center on our website and schedule a complimentary wellness consultation or email us at wellness@avantpharmacy.com for more information.

 

We hope to see you soon!

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